1 I will exalt you, Lord, for you lifted me out of the depths and did not let my enemies gloat over me. 2 Lord my God, I called to you for help, and you healed me. 3 You, Lord, brought me up from the realm of the dead; you spared me from going down to the pit.
4 Sing the praises of the Lord, you his faithful people; praise his holy name. 5 For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favour lasts a lifetime; weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.
6 When I felt secure, I said, ‘I shall never be shaken.’ 7 Lord, when you favoured me, you made my royal mountain stand firm; but when you hid your face, I was dismayed.
8 To you, Lord, I called; to the Lord I cried for mercy: 9 ‘What is gained if I am silenced, if I go down to the pit? Will the dust praise you? Will it proclaim your faithfulness? 10 Hear, Lord, and be merciful to me; Lord, be my help.’
11 You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, 12 that my heart may sing your praises and not be silent. Lord my God, I will praise you for ever.
An appropriate psalm for the beginning of Holy Week. Weeping may stay for the night… Except that Jesus’ first followers couldn’t see that joy would come in the morning just two days later. They had given up everything for Jesus. Followed him for maybe three years. Seen the unexplainable. Heard the incredible. Hoped for the unimaginable. And now…? Their beloved leader and teacher branded a blasphemer and dying a criminal’s death. How could they even begin to think that joy might come in the morning? And yet. And yet, it does. Joy everlasting will break upon the sun (Son) rise.
Questions for thought and discussion...
- Where do you (or those you know) feel in the middle of the night of weeping?
- How can we point our young people to the joy promised in the morning when their pain sometimes seems so overwhelming?